For six years now, the U.S. and its allies have been arming/funding “moderate rebels” in Syria, resulting in millions of refugees and vast destruction of the country. Let us for a moment ignore the hypocrisy and insanity of this proxy war. How “moderate” are these rebels who are getting tens of billions of dollars of weapons, funding and training?
The official talking point is that these rebels of Free Syrian Army (FSA) are secular Syrians. The truth on the ground is that a majority of fighters are foreigners, and they are fanatical Islamists and terrorists (Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and ISIS).
As Middle East expert Professor Joshua Landis succinctly put it, “Every rebel group in Syria has been associated with Al Qaeda at some point.”
Below are some pictures that show the U.S.-supported “moderate rebels” (the flag with green-white-black stripes and red stars) hanging out with Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters.
FSA spokesperson, Colonel Okaidi, has also said on TV interviews that his group gets along well with both ISIS “brothers” and Al Qaeda. This video also shows him schmoozing with the U.S. Ambassador to Syria.
There have been plenty of reports over the last six years that clearly indicate that supporting the FSA meant supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS. For example:
- Two of the largest CIA-vetted rebel groups surrendered U.S.-supplied missiles and hi-tech weapons to Al Qaeda and ran away!
- Sometimes FSA fighters simply defected to join Al Qaeda
- FSA gave (sold?) the U.S.-supplied weapons to Al Qaeda
- FSA would defect and join ISIS
- FSA chose a Jihadist as their leader, someone with clear ties to ISIS & AQ
- FSA’s military council coordinated with Al Qaeda on a daily basis
- FSA groups pledged allegiance to ISIS
- Fares Bayoush is an important figure in the FSA and a representative of the opposition in official peace talks. He’s also often interviewed by the western media, as seen in this New Yorker article. He put a spin on Al Qaeda-FSA cooperation by saying that the “moderate rebels” have to work with Al Qaeda in Syria – it’s just a matter of pragmatism.
Although in 2011 the Free Syrian Army was composed of Syrians, the “revolution” fizzled out in a few months, since Assad was actually quite popular. That’s when Al Qaeda started pouring in, and even the mainstream media, like this New York Times article, admitted that Al Qaeda (rebranded as Al Nusra) had become the dominant group in Syria. A Washington Post article from 2012 also said the same and also observed that there wasn’t much of an ideological difference between Al Qaeda and FSA. (You can read my article Syrian War for Dummies for more details.)
To go straight to the source, one can view FSA’s Twitter account, @FSAPlatform, and see that they proudly post information – such as the flags shown below – about all the Islamist/Salafist groups that fight under them. Quick online research on individual groups such as Sham Legion and Mujahideen Army also clearly show that these are violent and intolerant Salafist groups.
Here are some examples of the barbaric nature of these moderate rebels. One FSA/Al Qaeda commander killed a Syrian soldier, ripped out the heart and ate it!
In another incident, a bunch of CIA-vetted/armed rebels beheaded a 10-year-old boy on video.
More recently, another group of rebels bombed a few buses that were transferring women and children out of the rebel-held area. About 70 children died in the blast. While the children in the buses were burning, the rebels were celebrating, shouting, “Allahu Akbar, the Shiite pigs are burning.” Why so much hatred? The rebels are Sunni Muslims and the civilians were Shia Muslims. That’s how fanatical and monstrous these “moderate rebels” are. You have to watch the short 30-second clip or the entire video here to believe it.
In the areas they control, the rebels have strict Taliban/Saudi-style Salafist Sharia Law – women have to be covered from head to toe, men have to grow beards etc. They even advertise such rules through graffiti and billboards. (In the picture on the left, it shows three wrong ways to dress and the one right way.)
Below are two pictures that show a pro-Assad rally and a pro-rebel rally. As you can see, Assad represents a secular, progressive nation and the rebels represent fundamentalist, repressive, Salafist ideas.
The Syrian moderate rebels also have indoctrination camps for kids to breed the next generation of Jihadists. You can watch a short documentary from Vice on one such camp. The pics below are from another camp run by Uzbekistan’s Al Qaeda fighters (yes, there are more than 40,000 foreign fighters in Syria from dozens of countries, including even China).
So, that’s the truth about the “moderate Syrian rebels” – they are not moderate, they are not Syrian and they are not rebels. They should be called “Salafist Foreign Terrorists.”